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Museums and Libraries



Museums and Librari​​es 

IMLS Community Catalyst Initiative

Supporting libraries and museums to spark community-led change.         


How can libraries and museums catalyze positive, community-driven change?

Through the Community Catalyst Initiative, the ABCD Institute and DePaul University collaborated with libraries and museums across the country to explore this question in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). From the initiative’s launch in late 2017 until September 2021, ABCD consultants supported and learned alongside 24 on-the-ground recipients of IMLS grant funding around the unique opportunities and challenges facing libraries, museums, and their communities as they mobilize local assets and resident-led solutions.

Below are learnings, materials and resources that have emerged from this collaboration.

Tools for Catalyst Image

Explore tools IMLS Catalyst teams are using in their work, along with stories of how grantees used them and what they learned. 


​The following webinars held with IMLS Catalyst Grantee teams explore various tools and practices for dynamically catalyzing the assets, talents, and resources within communities with a focus on resident control and leadership.

Portland Exhibition

Read and watch stories of change emerging from the work of IMLS Catalyst library and museum teams across the US engaging more authentically with their community members in ways that grow local power and connectivity.

Blog Posts

​​ Towards a More Community-Centered Museum (Mike Murawski, Aug 2019)

Interrupting White Dominant Culture in Museums (Mike Murawski, Aug 2019)

2018 Community Catalyst's Funding Opportunity: A Chance to Innovate (Dr. Katherine Matthew, March 2018)

Innovating with Communities (Dr. Katherine Matthew, May 2017)

How Do We Know We are Having an Impact? (Dr. Katherine Matthew, February 2017)

Working with Partners in Your Community Catalyst Work (Dr. Katherine Matthew, January 2017)

Community Catalyst: How Do We Know We Are Having An Impact (Dr. Katherine Matthew, February 2017)​

    For more information:

April Doner
Project Director, Community Catalyst Evaluation
ABCD Institute